Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Something I Did Not Know

Baton Rouge is the new Brooklyn. The Internet, what isn't on it?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

How to Tell If You Watch Too Much TV

If you can name both of these guys:

Extra credit (demerits?) if you can name the Sham Wow guy.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Size Matters

Atlanta's name chef, Richard Blais, has opened a burger joint, Flip. Sally and I ate there recently and enjoyed the food (although we did look askance at the desserts. A Krispy Kreme shake seems like such a bad idea on so many different levels).

Some controversy has emerged over the size of Mr. Blais' burgers. The burgers at Flip are about 3 to 3&1/2 ounces cooked, which works out to a 1/4 pound uncooked. They are extraordinarily tasty. Some persons are complaining that the burgers are too small and are comparing them to Krystals, which is both unkind and inaccurate.

When did 1/2 pound burgers become standard? Are we so gorged on the standard Applebees/ Good Fridays/ Chilis fare that we have lost sight of what size a burger ought to be? A standard McDonalds hamburger patty is 1/10th of a pound uncooked. The Quarter Pounder is, oddly enough, 1/4 of a pound uncooked. With Mickey D's meat there is of course much shrinkage after cooking.

My major problem with eating out is the portion size. I've found that I'm really not very hungry at night. When I'm presented with the normal portions found in a restaurant, I almost always have to take some or most of it home for leftovers. This is especially problematic with the freezer bag/microwave restaurants as the food typically isn't that wonderful when originally served.

Restaurants like to serve large portions as their patrons perceive it as good value. The major expense in running a restaurant is not food cost, but labour. Since it takes almost the same effort to nuke a one pound meal as a one half pound meal, the can afford to 'give away' the extra food.

The result of all this has been that as we eat out more, we've been eating a lot more out, and we're, at least i'm, getting fatter.

One possible result of this recession is that we may eat out less. I hope so. I hate buying new belts.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Really Good Question

Dean Munday asked the question: What is Jesus doing?

Go there and read.

The State I'm In

Here in Georgia the sale of liquor, beer and wine in bottles is strictly prohibited on Sundays. You can still buy a glass of wine or a martini to go with your meal but you're out of luck if you want a six pack of Bud for the game.

Normally that isn't a problem. Neither Sally nor I are real drinkers so we don't really miss not being able to buy on the Baptist Sabbath.

However, it now is. My father's 80th birthday is January 6th. All of his progeny, friends and relations are gathering the weekend after New Years to celebrate. My extraordinarily capable baby sister is coordinating the party preparations and she assigned us the task of getting the champagne.

The only problem with that is that I have no actual knowledge of champagne. My goal is to get enough for the crowd with a little left over. The champagne needs to be drinkable (no sparkling Thunderbird in other words) and cheap.

Yesterday we were in a large discount store late in the day and we noticed they had three different sparkling wines: Asti, Korbel and 'some other brand'. I had heard of the first two and know them to be okay in quality. The price on the third was ideal. I jotted down the price and sizing information on all three, did some more shopping, then went home. When I looked the 'some other brand' up on the web I found that it was considered to be the best of three. So it is easily the best value for the money. It may be sparkling vinegar, but based upon price, bottle size and reputation, it is my platonic ideal of champagne.

But I can not buy it because of my home state's stupid liquor laws. Which means I have to wait until after I finish work on Monday to score the bargain of the year.

All of which explains why I am not sharing the name of the store or the name of the wine with the entire Internet community. I'm not naming names, but some of you would scurry down to the store and scarf it up before I can get there.

Favourite Cooking Site

Michael Chu's Cooking For Engineers is a seriously wonderful resource for cooks. Those who are intuitive and cook by feel may not get a lot out of it, but those of us who like to have everything laid out in advance get much benefit therefrom. In particular, his toffee recipe is nigh perfect.